Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] primaries for members of parliament and local councils in Mbale ended in physical fights and ugly chaotic scenes.
Held at St Austin Cathedral Conference Hall in Mbale on Sunday, the primaries saw members exchange blows and insults amid suspicion that the ruling NRM party had infiltrated them.
According to the road map, the primaries were scheduled for Monday November 2.
Tororo County MP, Geoffrey Ekanya told URN they had to act fast to avoid chaos in their election in the district.
“We received information that the NRM wanted to pour a lot of money to disrupt our elections especially Mbale is the heartbeat of eastern Uganda…We decided to ensure that we the fifth columnist of the NRM doesn’t disrupt our elections”, Ekanya said.
The primaries were conducted by party deputy electoral commissioner, Michael Kabaziguruka.
There was however disagreements that led to physical clashes, after some members protested the decision.
For the Mbale Municipality MP seat, Ronnie Peter Gidudu protested the way the election was conducted.
“…we were surprised by them telling us we were supposed to vote even the Member of Parliament for Mbale municipality. Yet we came knowing that we are going to only vet. The incumbent Jack Wamai Wamanga manipulated as you can see, I don’t know where he got these hooligans that he is claiming that they are delegates. They were just…one word kiggwa leero (it all ends today)”, Gidudu said.
Kabaziguruka told members that the party did not have enough time to conduct primaries countrywide, the reason this election was done earlier than planned.
Wamanga was re-elected Mbale MP FDC flag bearer but his camp accused Gidudu and his supporters of being NRM moles in the party.
In the other positions, Margaret Wokuri Madanda beat Robinah Masibo for Mbale Woman MP flag bearer.
Ben Martin Wanda was unopposed for Bungokho South MP seat, while Gershom Wambede was unopposed as Bungokho North FDC flag bearer.
Incumbent Mbale Mayor, Zanday Mutwalib Mafabi, polled 140 votes against Siraje Mugoya’s 43 votes.